The next day I came home from school to the smell of smoke and fire in our backyard. When I stepped out into the backyard, the sight was horrific, my mother was covered in dirt. She was standing next to a massive hole in the yard catching fire. The large open flames swirled next to her, and a heaping pile of my books, my candles, and my herbs from the cabinet had all been thrown into the pile next to the flames.
“Amanda, I have gone about this the wrong way. My soul is lost and I will walk to hell and back to save myself. So long as you live under my roof I am the Queen, I am the Boss, you may choose your witchcraft, your “shamanism” your “Wicca” she said with air quotes. You die, you will burn as a witch just as all of those women generations before us had done. Or you can choose life. Become a good Christian girl. Go to the church I choose for you and worship the one God I tell you to worship because I am the mother and I know what is right for you.”
I stood very still watching her eyes and the crazy swirling around inside of them. Was she serious? Would she throw me into the hole with my books? That hole was a pretty deep one. Would I burn in my own backyard and die for my religious beliefs? This was wrong on so many levels to force another person to believe in a God you choose for them. Yet it was not unlike anything we have ever read before in history books. I took a step forward, I sank down to my pile of books and cried apologizing to them as I began to throw each of them into the fire.
Today I would become a chameleon, I put on my mask that society and my mother deemed fit for public and began going to a church. I became the “Good Christian Girl” I went each Sunday bowing my head closing my eyes, I sang the hymns I swayed to the music. I went to the church she picked out, I listened to the young girls in my Sunday school class talk about having premarital sex and sneaking out then laughing as they came to church and begged God to forgive them. I listened to the whispers of the mothers who gossiped about everyone in the church airing dirty laundry that never should have been discussed. For years I listened to the hypocrisy of people in her church leading one life during the week and a saintly life on Sunday.
For years I would wait until the entire house fell asleep and I would open my window and sing to the moon. I would mix my herbs from the kitchen cabinets and breath life into the chanting circles I would cast asking the universe to heal my mother. I would beg for my broken family to heal, to bond to love. I wrote spells to manifest how life would change when I became an adult. I hide my Book of Shadows in the closet among the blankets safe and sound from harm.
Years passed by of practicing in the dark and balancing life and what was expected. After becoming pregnant with my own daughter I began to look at the world differently as motherhood tends to change our perspective on life.My husband was not a fan of the Woo community. He did not understand it, nor did he value spending much time too in the beginning. He had grown up in a household that had completely different beliefs. Yet he fully supported and respected my journey regardless if we stood in a church and swayed side by side or sat in the rainstorm and sang to the earth grateful for the raindrops we needed.
After becoming a Mother I decided to lay down a firm foundation for my Daughters. My Mother was only allowed minimally in the life our daughters for the first few years before she was convicted of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison. Forever removing her toxic personality from our family holidays.
This deeply rooted fear from my teenage years of being burned for what I had believed in followed me into motherhood. I feared what would happen to my children if anyone found out we sang to the moon. What would happen if people understood just how truly empathic my daughters were? What would people think if they knew my one of my daughters regularly communicated with a great aunt in spirit she had never met in life starting at the age of 6 months old? I would teach my daughters about energy, herbs, oils, and cycles of the moon. We would talk about dreams, those you have at night while sleeping, those you have while in a bath, and those you randomly see while chanting in a circle. Then we would go to church on Sunday with the rest of our community to blend in like everyone else. Only a select few close friends were allowed to know about the things we do not talk about in public. I made my daughters, my beautiful next generation wear the same mask in a society that I had chosen as a teenager.
Over the last couple of years, everything has shifted, we stopped wearing a mask to make everyone else comfortable. As my daughters become more aware of their ability to see and hear spirits I wanted to raise them in a community of people who will support them, educate them and above all encourage them to grow. A safe space for my daughters to honor the conversations that are not part of the mainstream life. Therefore, my family made a big shift to the Pacific North West and found a very supportive community to belong too.
I will never forget the moment my youngest daughter proudly stood up during a playdate her eyes wide with excitement and said “We are witches” Hearing her say those three words excited and scared me beyond anything I had ever experienced before. As I turned to my new girlfriend sitting at our kitchen table she smiled and nodded like it was nothing new to her. I froze and panicked I tried to shhh we don’t talk about those types of things… and realized just how far my family has come since those burning days of my youth.
Took a deep breath and spoke yes, we are witches, and its ok to say it. We are all safe and no one will burn us for our beliefs. This feeling of peace, of comfort in my own skin. The calm slower life in nature is just what is needed. The more I talk to people around me the more I am understanding a true need for a blog like this. Space somewhere in the world where others like us can read and feel the words just as strongly as standing in the room at the moment when it all happens.
My journey is not unlike that of any other empath, or witch or woo person who has grown up in a house where conversations like this are not accepted. When I first started writing all of this moment down I felt the waves of sadness. I felt places in my body that were numb start to wake up and feel sensations again. I have a spot in my stomach where it has always been blocked. During meditation, it has always been a distraction a disconnection in my body. What I have learned most about healing old wounds, and patterns like this is when you face your shadow and really allow yourself to reflect on the journey you grow stronger.
Today I ask you to sit with your shadow for awhile. What has your journey in this life looked like thus far? Check in with your body where are you? What do you feel? spending 15 mins of time just reflecting, maybe even write in a journal as well.
What is coming up for you may, in fact, be the very cause why you are here reading this blog today.
I leave you with this, Dear Sister and Brother, however, you chose to identify in this world. I see you, I walk similar pathway. You are beautiful, you are worthy of love, without limits or conditions. Yesterday and today have been heavy work. Tomorrow we will roll up our sleeves and work on understanding the rules of manifestation. The baseline for Sexual Magic & Intention Setting. Thank you for joining me here, for following this journey. As always I am honored to share this space with you.